Anet A8 Plus 3D Printer Review


The Anet A8 Plus was supposed to be Anet’s redemption song after its infamous A8, a printer plague with fire hazards, broken frames and overall poor quality control. Despite the overhauled all-metal frame and new components, we were very disappointed that our review unit shipped without any thermal protections, an extremely outdated software, and its outdated components led to very poor print quality. This is not a 3D printer we would recommend to anyone, and would highly recommend the Creality Ender 3 V2 as an alternative.


Manufacturer: Anet

The Pros
The Cons
Paul Chow
Paul Chow

Co-Founder & CTO

Amazon.com Disclosure: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.

In 2016, Anet released the now infamous Anet A8 3D printer. Aimed as a low-cost alternative to the Prusa i3, it offered dual z-axis motors and a direct drive extruder for a fraction of the price. Costing $300 less than its competitors, the Anet A8 became an extremely popular 3D printer. However, it was plagued with quality control issues, a fragile and flimsy acrylic frame, and a lack of thermal safety features—giving the Anet A8 a terrible reputation for its print quality, snapping frames and the occasional fire.

Fast forward to 2019, Anet released the A8 Plus. Equipped now with a full metal frame, larger print volume, and a promise of quality control and thermal safety features at an even lower price of $189. Anet hopes to redeem itself with this completely overhauled printer.

In this Anet A8 Plus 3D printer review, we will be taking a deep dive into the A8 Plus’ pros and cons and determine if the A8 is worth your consideration.

Table of Contents

Key Features To Look For In A Great 3D Printer

There are a lot of 3D printers on the market, and the number keeps growing. There are a few key features you should consider before purchasing your next or first 3D printer. The main evaluation criteria that jump to the top of everyone’s list is print quality. We tested out the Anet A8 Plus and scored it a 5/10 for quality. Like our other tests, we looked at its ability to resolve detail, z layer alignment, dimensional accuracy, & print repeatability. One of the things we noticed right away was the poor to mediocre quality due to bulging around the corners and random spots indicating uneven extrusion. We also saw some ringing and ghosting artifacts on flat surfaces.

The next feature you should look for is assembly. If you are a 3D printing expert, you probably don’t need to fear 100 different pieces. However, if you’re new to 3D printing, you typically want something that comes partially or fully assembled. That said, we scored the Anet A8 Plus a 3/10. This is because it comes in a full DIY kit. You will need to assemble the A8 Plus from the box of numerous components, which can be scary for anyone new to 3D printing. Anet did provide YouTube videos that assist with assembly. However, it doesn’t even come with an instruction manual that any 3D enthusiast would still need.

Lastly, embarking on your 3D journey can be scary if you’re new to 3D printing. Even if you’re a seasoned vet, it’s always good to have someone to bounce ideas off of and help with troubleshooting fixes. That said, due to the history of the Anet A8 printer, there is a massive community presence. This is important, especially for Anet Plus, as the 3D printer requires additional help to get it up to par with other printers.


Overall Score

Ranked #36 of 37 Printers

Learn more about our 3D printer review methodology.

How We Researched Anet A8 Plus

The Anet A8 Plus belongs to the large format cartesian family of 3D printers. This kind of 3D printer aims to be a workhorse printer, capable of printing nearly anything users throw at it with little fuss. Printers such as the Anet A8 Plus are well known to be affordable, easy to use and have a large community behind them.

At first glance, the Anet A8 Plus should be from the original A8 lineage, but the A8 Plus shares nothing in common with the now ancient machine. The A8 Plus features an all-new metal frame and updated components.

We tested the Anet A8 plus with a variety of test prints, went through all its communities and forums, stress tested it in a bunch of harsh printing conditions and more. To get a baseline measurement, we also tested the Creality Ender 3 V2, Artillery Genius and Sovol SV01 to see how well the A8 Plus stacks against the competition.

This is an article that you wouldn’t want to miss out on! With so many large format 3D printers now on the market, choosing the right printer is essential. You could pick one with excellent print quality, great print experience and high reliability, or one with terrible print quality, low reliability and headaches from huge repair bills. We made sure we carefully researched the Anet A8 Plus to make sure you’re armed with the information you need for the right 3D printer purchase.

Printer Setup

Full DIY Kit
Because Anet priced the A8 Plus at such an affordable price point, it ships the A8 Plus as a fully DIY kit. Users need to assemble the A8 Plus from a box of components, which can be intimidating to anyone new to 3D printing. Anet created YouTube videos that outline the assembling of the 3D printer. However, it does not include any paper instructions but instead includes a pdf included on the microSD card. We found the pdf manual to be adequate; however, only users with prior 3D printer assembly experience should attempt to assemble the Anet A8 Plus.

Competitive DIY kit printers, like the Prusa Mk3S, include a much more in-depth manual which we found to be much better for first-time 3D printer builders. In our assembly, it took us around 7 hours to assemble the Anet A8 Plus compared to 9 hours for the Prusa Mk3S. Although the Prusa Mk3S’ manual is far better and easier for a beginner, the Anet A8 Plus is a simpler 3D printer that does not include all the extra features the Prusa Mk3S has.

Leveling the Printer
Having the nozzle of the hotend correctly leveled to the print surface is critical for 3D prints to be successfully completed. If the nozzle is too far from the print surface, the prints may detach due to low adhesion. If the nozzle is too close, there may not be enough room for molten plastic to escape the nozzle and cause a jam in the hotend.

The Anet A8 Plus is a manually levelled printer. Users have 4 levelling knobs located in the corners of the heated bed and move the nozzle to each corner using the knobs, move the heated bed up or down to correctly level the entire build surface. Anet has included steps within the manual to guide users on how to level the bed.

The Anet A8 Plus has a large build volume of 300mm (l) x 300mm (w) x 350mm (h) which allows it to print a large number of different objects. The upgrade to a glass bed allowed us to print across its build volume without worrying about low or high spots. It should be noted that unlike Creality’s or Artillery’s ceramic coated glass bed, Anet requires users to use a bed adhesion (i.e. glue stick, hairspray or blue painter’s tape) for prints to properly adhere to the glass plate.

We tested the A8 Plus in 4 major areas: the ability to resolve details, z layer alignment, dimensional accuracy and print repeatability. For the tests, we used stock 0.2mm layer height settings in Anet’s version of Cura.

To test the FDM printer’s ability to resolve details, we printed several detailed models, including the standard test model Benchy, a Mandolorian figure and a calibration cube. The CR10 V3 reproduced the details on the Benchy, Mandalorian and calibration cube of poor to adequate quality. Prints show slight bulging in corners and random spots, indicating inconsistent extrusion. We did notice a lot of ringing and ghosting artifacts on flat surfaces due to the inclusion of a direct drive extruder and a relatively light frame of the Anet A8 Plus. Competitors like the Creality Ender 3 V2 use a might lighter Bowden extrusion system which eliminates ringing and ghosting. While the Artillery Genius uses a direct drive extruder, its frame is significantly heavier and sturdier to compensate for the added mass of the direct drive extruder.

We tested the z-layer alignment consistency of the Anet A8 Plus by printing a very tall 350mm tube. Quality control and design of the z-axis assembly dictate the consistency of the z-axis of a 3D printer. If the lead screw in the z-axis is off or bent by even a fraction of a degree, ribbing artifacts known as z wobble will manifest on the 3D print. A tall smooth object such as a tube will exaggerate any z wobble in a 3D printer. In our testing, we noticed a z wobble in print, indicating that Anet has shipped us a bent z-axis.

To test dimensional accuracy and print consistency, we printed a 20mm calibration cube 20 times to see if there are any differences between the different cubes. We noted that our cube measured 20.3mm (l) x 20.3mm (w), which makes the Anet A8 Plus slightly worse than average for dimensional accuracy. We also noticed there were slight differences between the cubes to the finish and dimensional accuracy, making the A8 Plus an inconsistent 3D printer.

The Anet A8 Plus disappointed us with its print experience, from the lack of modern slicer support to the inconsistent extruder outputting below-average prints. The A8 Plus requires users to add additional upgrades to the extruder or mods for the A8 to print at the same level as its competitors.

Print Speeds
With the inclusion of a heavy direct drive extruder and light frame, the Anet A8 Plus must print slowly at 40mm/s otherwise, its print quality becomes completely unacceptable. In comparison, the Creality Ender 3 V2 can print slightly faster at 50mm/s but at much better print quality. High-end direct drive printers like the Prusa Mk3S can easily print at 75mm/s or faster.

Setting Up Prints
Anet included an older copy of Cura with its A8 Plus package and as of the time of writing this, Cura’s latest revision is Cura 4.8. While Anet has included an older version of Cura, it is far newer than the version of Cura included in Anycubic’s 3D printers.

Anet has included preset profiles for the Anet A8 Plus in its version of Cura, and we have found no issues with its standard parameters. Users can quickly drag and drop files into Cura and process them for printing. Unfortunately, users of later versions of Cura do have the default profiles for the Anet A8 Plus and would need to manually input them if they want to use the latest version of Cura.

Users must load their sliced files into a microSD card and insert it by the LCD module of the A8 Plus. Some users may not appreciate such a small card to load their files. However, in our testing, we did not find it to be an issue. On the Anet A8 Plus, users start printing by selecting their files via a monochrome LCD and click wheel. Navigating on this 3D printer feels dated compared to colour touch screens on many modern printers.

Noise Levels
The A8 Plus uses a control board that is nearly identical to the older A8 equipped with A4988 stepper drivers, which is extremely loud in comparison to TMC silent stepper drivers featured in many modern printers. This results in the A8 Plus outputting 50db of noise while idle and 60db of noise while in motion. We found the A8 Plus to be extremely disturbing while in operation.


The Anet A8 Plus boasts an impressive build volume of 300mm (l) x 300mm (w) x 350mm (h) and light weight of 10kg. Compared to the Creality Ender 3 V2, Artillery Genius and Sovol S01, the Anet A8 Plus has a significantly bigger volume, with the other 3D printers having build volumes around 250mm in all dimensions.

The A8 Plus uses aluminum extrusions and round steel rods for its frame. This is an enormous step up compared to the original A8, which used acrylic plastic for a large portion of the frame. The A8 Plus is now sufficiently rigid and doesn’t suffer from the printer falling apart due to the acrylic cracking in the older model. It should be noted that the A8 Plus does use fewer aluminum extrusions compared to the Creality Ender 3, Artillery Genius and the Sovol S01, which makes the A8 Plus lighter but less sturdy than its competitors.

Thermal Runaway Protection
One of the biggest concerns of 3D printing is the heater losing control and catching fire. Thermal runaway protection is a software feature that constantly monitors the hotend to ensure it stays within acceptable temperatures. Almost all modern 3D printers come with thermal runaway protection enabled. Unfortunately, the original Anet A8 was infamous for not enabling it by default which caused some serious issues. We were extremely disappointed that the Anet A8 Plus does not come with thermal runaway protection enabled. Reaching out to Anet, we were told our unit was an early unit, and later units have the thermal runaway protection enabled by default. Anet has also included an updated version of its firmware that has it enabled on their website, and we can confirm that it is working. However, we must stress how disappointed we were that it did not originally come with thermal runaway protection by default.

Cable Relief and Management
As the heated bed moves while the printer is in operation, power cables connected to the heated bed will be put under much strain. Without proper support, cables could break over repeated movements over long periods of time, leading to potential electrification of the heated bed or burning. The Anet A8 Plus’ heated bed has cable relief in the form of a large connector that makes cable connections both easy and well supported.

Anet has also included a roll of plastic cable wrap to help users bundle and manage cables throughout the printer. While functional, it is less user-friendly than the flexible nylon sleeves included in competitive printers.

Safety Highlights

MSLA resin printers are electrically safe compared to filament based FDM 3D printers. Resin printers need very little power to drive an LCD screen, UV light source and 1 stepper motor versus high power heaters used to melt filament and heated beds found in FDM printers. As a result, MSLA resin printers such as the Anycubic Photon S do not have the electrification or fire risks associated with FDM 3D printers.

Anet A8 Plus Maintenance

Finding Replacement Parts
The Anet A8 Plus is a modified clone of the Prusa Mk2 3D printer. As an older machine was replaced in 2017 by the Prusa Mk3 3D printer, many retailers have stopped stocking parts for the Anet A8 Plus. Only Anet sells direct replacement components for the A8 Plus. However, users can make modifications or upgrades by using the more modern Prusa Mk3 parts with slight modifications to the A8 Plus. This allows advanced users to access retailers such as Matterhackers, Digitmakers, Spool3d and even Amazon.

Accessing the Control Board
Anet A8 Plus’ minimalist frame makes it easy to mount and access its control board. Mounted in a small case on the left-hand side of the 3D printer, Anet has made it extremely easy to gain access to the board. Additionally, due to how it is mounted, users have an enormous amount of space to navigate around the control board.

It should be noted that due to the Anet A8 Plus being a DIY kit, there are no traces of hot glue on any of the connectors, making it easy for users to replace cables when needed. However, there are a few mismatched or missing connectors which concerned us. For example, the hotend power cables lack any connector and are screwed into the control board. This is dangerous if the cables become loose, they can heat up and potentially cause a fire. We suggest that users purchase crimp connectors for the hotend power cables when assembling the Anet A8 Plus.

Features & Upgrades

Dual Z Axis
The Anet A8 Plus is equipped with two stepper motors located on the left and right sides of the 3D printer that moves the hotend gantry up and down on the z-axis. This is useful for printers with direct drive extruders since single z-axis can introduce play in the hotend gantry and introduce artifacts in the z-axis.

Direct Drive Extruder
Anet has equipped the A8 Plus with a direct drive extruder. Direct drive extruders mount the extruder and stepper motor directly on top of the hotend which reduces the distance filament must travel before reaching the hotend. The major advantage of the direct extruder is that users can print flexible filaments, such as TPU, reliably and quickly. A direct extruder is better at controlling the filament going into the hotend, leading to more accurate printing. Competitors like the Creality Ender 3 V2 do not have direct drive extruders. However, the Artillery Genius and Sovol S01 do have direct-drive extruders.

Magnetic LCD Display
A unique feature of the Anet A8 Plus is its magnetic LCD display. It’s equipped with a monochromatic LCD and click wheel found on older generation 3D printers. It’s mounted on a magnetic bracket which allows users to quickly attach and reattach the display if they would like to use it at a different position than the standard right-side mount.

Community Support

Due to the reputation of the Anet A8 printer, the Anet A8 Plus enjoys a large community following. This is extremely important for the A8 Plus as this 3D printer requires an enormous amount of support and upgrades to print at a decent level. Users do have access to several Facebook groups, Reddit groups, forums and help articles directly from Anet.

Final Verdict

We were very disappointed in the A8 Plus’ lack of detail and performance. With the stigma of having a printer known to catch on fire, we were hoping that Anet would have made more adjustments with the A8 Plus. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the Anet A8 Plus has done so. Anet provided a firmware update to the A8 Plus, enabling thermal runaway protection and claimed that the new units have this critical safety feature enabled. However, our unit did not have this feature enabled, nor did it have a second unit to test, making it impossible to verify this claim.

Additionally, requiring users to modify and upgrade their printers before printing quality prints is unacceptable for 3D printers in 2021. This is further exacerbated by Anet listing mods that users have provided on their websites. We simply cannot recommend the Anet A8 Plus as a 3D printer for anyone, despite its extremely low price tag of $189. However, once users include the costs of upgrades and time, the value proposition is lost compared to competitors like the Creality Ender 3 V2, Artillery Genius and Sovol S01.

Anet A8 Plus Technical Specifications

  • Build volume: 300mm (l) x 300mm (w) x 350mm (h)
  • Printer size: 420mm (l) x 550mm (w) x 650mm (h)
  • Weight: 11.5kg
  • Enclosed print area: No
  • Display: Monochrome LCD
  • Drive type: FDM Direct (ptfe)
  • Filament capability: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Connectivity: SD card
  • Drivers: A4988
  • Build Surface: Glass
  • Heated Bed: Yes
  • Bed Leveling: Manual
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
  • Maximum hotend temperature: 250 °C
  • Maximum movement speed: 150mm per second
  • Maximum XY accuracy: 0.1mm
  • Minimum Z height: 0.1mm
  • Number of extruders: 1
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Supported materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, 3rd party filament support: yes
  • Operating System: Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Supported Slicers: Prusaslicer, Slic3r, CURA, Simplify3D
  • Supported File Types: STL, OBJ, M3F

3DGearZone.com is a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We don’t guarantee, however, that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services. 3DGearZone.com is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. 

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Anet3d.com, “Anet” Accessed July 26, 2022.

Share Article


Revolutionize your 3D printing game with incredible deals!

We get access to exclusive deals and discounts on latest 3D printers and accessories all the time. Subscribe to stay in touch! 

No thanks, I don't want to know about amazing deals
Scroll to Top